A visitor to Melbourne's Victorian Arts Centre looks over an exhibition of painted cellos July 9. The month-long exhibition titled "The Artful Cello", will tour nationally and internationally before the instruments are auctioned to raise money for young chamber musicians. The title of the painted instrument in the foreground is "Yawulyu Kurlu" or Family Dreaming painted in the traditional Aboriginal dot style. The exhibition coincides with an international classical music contest in the city. Reuters/WB/DL

The Australian Festival of Chamber Music is on its third day of music-filled celebration. The event, which officially opened on July 31, has four shows lined up for its Aug. 3 program, as detailed by the chamber’s official website.

Monday’s program opened with the “Concert Conversations with Piers Lane 2” at 10:00 a.m. In this event held at the Townsville Civic Theatre, the musicians were not asked to perform. Instead, they were gathered for a 75-minute interview with Piers Lane which concluded with a tea in the foyer. The artists involved in the said interview as mentioned by the AFCM include Li-Wei Qin, Piotr Anderszewski, Benjamin Martin and Louise Hopkins.

Those who were interested to learn more about the musical arts joined a free session of “The “AFCM Winterschool - Advanced Public Masterclass 1” at 12: 45 p.m. The event was conducted by one of the acclaimed national and international Festival Artists David Selig, who provided the hour-long coaching session.

A musical performance by Piers Lane, Li-Wei Qin and the Orava String Quartet filled the Townsville Civic Theatre at 5:30 p.m.Tickets to their show called “Ray Golding Sunset Series – String Romantics” were available at various prices, including AU$47 for adults and for AU$43 for members. Piers Lane and Li-Wei Qin will be playing Brahms Sonata for cello and piano in F major Op. 99, while the Orava String Quartet will showcase their talent with Medelssohn’s String Quartet No.6 in f minor Op.80.

The Australian Festival of Chamber Music will end its Monday program with the 8:00 p.m. “Evening Series – Come Tango with Me!” affair. For a fee (Adult AU$58, Member AU$52, Concession AU$55, Student MEM/U26 AU$26), the public can witness the musical talents of the many artists performing various pieces at intervals during the said event. These artists include David Harding, David Selig, and the Goldner String Quartet, who will perform Joaquín Turina’s “Escena Andaluza” in Sextet for viola, piano and string quartet Op.7.

Valda Wilson, Benjamin Martin, Lorna McGhee, Michael Collins, Louise Hopkins, Ike See and Eugene Ughetti will do a choir performance of Sebastian Currier’s “Vocalissimus,” to be conducted by Nicholas Daniel.

Crabb, See, Martin, Ughetti, Li-Wei Qin and Rohan Dasika, will also perform Antonio Agri/Jose arr Crabb’s “Desde Adentro.” Their performance will be followed by the string rendition of Ástor Piazzolla’s “Le Grand Tango” by Li-Wei Qin and James Crabb. Three more performances from the mix of artists will grace the evening. More details are provided by the Australian Festival of Chamber Music’s website.

In a press statement released by the Attorney General for Australia on March 16, Senator the Hon. George Brandis, the Minister for the Arts, announced the 25 th year anniversary of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music. He acknowledged the chamber for its achievement in the past years in making Australia as a unique Arts hub.

“This year the Australian Festival of Chamber Music will mark the 25th anniversary of its annual event that sees classical music lovers from around Australia and overseas converge on Townsville, in our home state of Queensland,” he said.

“The Australian Government recognises the importance of festivals like the Australian Festival of Chamber Music in bringing high quality performances to regional audiences and providing ongoing benefits to regional communities,” Senator Brandis added on his press statement.

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